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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ Spring Training storylines; Juan Soto spray charts + more Nats news...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you try to contain your excitement over pitchers and catchers reporting this week...

Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Washington Nationals’ pitchers and catchers report to West Palm Beach, FL for the start of Spring Training 2021 this Wednesday (2/17), the first workouts for pitchers and catchers this year occur this Thursday (2/18) and the first full squad workout for the 2021 Nats will be held next Tuesday (2/23). So, congratulations. You made it through the winter. Now you just have to hold on for a few more weeks to get to real baseball. You did it. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Dave Martinez and the Nationals slow starts - (Washington Times)
"What are the most revered numbers in Washington Nationals baseball history?"

Spring training storylines: Improving defense - (MASN)
"Why did the Nationals struggle so much in 2020? It’s easy to point the finger at a starting rotation that didn’t come close to living up to its usual lofty standard."

Spring training storylines: Who's the fifth starter? - (MASN)
"The Nats need to pick a No. 5 starter. The candidates are Joe Ross, Austin Voth and Erick Fedde. You’re not experiencing déjà vu."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Each club's player we're most excited to see - (MLB.com)
"Nationals: Stephen Strasburg, RHP - No player may be more important for his team’s future, both in 2021 and moving forward, than Strasburg."

7 spray charts you need to see to believe - (MLB.com)
"What makes [Juan] Soto so remarkable is not just the 22-year-old’s astonishing production over his first three MLB seasons, but the fact that he seemingly has no weaknesses."

Gene Frenette: Daniel Murphy, Howie Kendrick had mirror MLB careers worth saluting - (gazette.com)
"Seriously, there’s almost no separation between the careers of Jacksonville Englewood High graduate Daniel Murphy (retired on Jan. 29), also a standout at Jacksonville University, and West Nassau High (Callahan, Fla.)/St. John’s River State College product Howie Kendrick (retired on Dec. 21)."

Inside look at Mets' NL East foes - (NY Post)
"Washington Nationals - Key additions: The 2019 champs stayed active this offseason, signing ex-Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber and left-hander Jon Lester, plus reliever Brad Hand. They also traded for Pirates first baseman Josh Bell..."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Analyzing issues facing the Mets as season approaches - (NY Post)
"Best position battle: There isn’t a glaring job competition heading into camp, but the back of the end of the rotation — behind Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco and Marcus Stroman — appears unsettled."

Phillies Spring Training: 10 players to watch - The Morning Call
Philadelphia Phillies pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training in Clearwater on Wednesday in preparation for their first Grapefruit League game Feb. 28 against the Detroit Tigers.

Why Brinson May Be the Odd Man Out - (Fish Stripes)
"Adam Duvall gives the Miami Marlins a dynamic that has seemingly dissipated since the departures of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Christian Yelich, power."

Mike Soroka wins arbitration case with Braves, will make $2.8M in 2021 - (Talking Chop)
"Mike Soroka has reportedly won his arbitration case against the Braves and will earn $2.8 million in 2021, according to MLB’s Mark Feinsand."